Woon Wei Jong

Correspondent, Lianhe Zaobao

Wei Jong joined Shin Min Daily in 2000, then Lianhe Wanbao in 2007. In 2017, he joined SPH's Chinese Media Group Newshub, contributing articles to Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao on society, politics, policies, and current affairs, as well as big reads and special reports. Before becoming a journalist, he was a researcher and editor at two social services organisations.

Demonstrators take part in a march against nuclear power ahead of a referendum on whether the government should continue building the stalled Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, in Taipei, Taiwan, 5 December 2021. (Annabelle Chih/Reuters)

Taiwanese wavering over referendum on Fourth Nuclear Power Plant

Given Taiwan’s energy needs, the debate over nuclear energy is being revived, with discussions over whether the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City should be resumed. The ruling party DPP is advocating for a “No” vote and the KMT vice versa. But concerns of nuclear safety overshadow the debate and the referendum on 18 Dec, which will be one among four to be held on different issues. The outcome will be telling of the public’s political leanings and prospects for the future of Taiwan’s energy policies.
An algae reef zone is seen before Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen arrives for an inspection at the coast of the Guanyin district in Taoyuan on 25 November 2021. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Taiwan’s algal reef referendum: A proxy for political battle?

The Datan algal reef off Taoyuan in Taiwan is rich with biodiversity, and a natural barrier for Taiwan. However, plans for a third LNG terminal in the area have turned the reef into a political point of contention, with conservationists wanting to protect the reef and the Taiwan government having to consider energy demands. A KMT-supported referendum on whether the terminal should be moved away from the reef, along with three other referendums on pork imports, nuclear power and future referendums, will also be held on 18 December. Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong examines the political undertones behind the environmental concerns.
Girls at a rehearsal ahead of the Double Tenth Day celebration in front of presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan, 10 October 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Who dictates war and peace in the Taiwan Strait?

Mainland China’s aerial incursions into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone has almost become a regular routine, US warships sail through the Taiwan Strait ever so often while international military drills are conducted from time to time. As Taiwan is increasingly seen as “the most dangerous place on earth", the mainland, the US, and Taiwan are all making political statements against escalation but are preparing for military action just in case. Might conflict erupt as early as 2024? Does the key to solving the Taiwan Strait issue lie with Beijing and Taipei and the larger question of defining the Chinese nation?
This handout photo released by the Kaohsiung Fire Department on 14 October 2021 shows firefighters battling an overnight blaze that tore through the Cheng Chung Cheng Building in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, killing at least 46 people and injuring dozens of others. (Handout/Kaohsiung Fire Department/AFP)

Fire hazards plague Taiwan's ageing buildings and their residents, but is anyone fixing the problem?

On 14 October, an old building in Kaohsiung went up in flames, killing 46 people. That is not the only ageing building in Taiwan; hundreds of buildings are growing old along with the residents that live in them. Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong visits a few of these older developments and speaks to the residents for a better idea of their living conditions and the fire hazards they face on a daily basis.
Afghan nationals return back to Afghanistan from the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman on 17 August 2021. (AFP)

'Afghanistan today, Taiwan tomorrow’?

With the US pullout in Afghanistan leading to chaos, many are questioning if the US has lost credibility around the world. Events in Afghanistan have also sparked discussions in Taiwan about US reliability if fighting breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, so much so that Taiwan premier Su Tseng-chang has spoken out to calm the people's nerves. Lianhe Zaobao speaks with various Taiwanese academics to get a sense of the situation.
People fish at the Sun Moon Lake amid low water levels during an islandwide drought in Nantou, Taiwan on 15 May 2021. (Annabelle Chih/Reuters)

Faced with a shortage of water, electricity and vaccines, can Taiwan still deliver the chips?

Water, electricity and Covid-19 vaccines — critical elements to keep Taiwan’s leading chip industry going — are in short supply. The situation is currently manageable, say industry watchers, but if this goes on, can Taiwan withstand the pressure and continue delivering the goods to the world?
In this file photo taken on 31 January 2018, Taiwanese sailors salute the island's flag on the deck of the Panshih supply ship after taking part in annual drills, at the Tsoying naval base in Kaohsiung. (Mandy Cheng/AFP)

Will China take Taiwan by force within six years? Taiwanese think not and experts are worried

At a recent US senate hearing, Admiral Philip Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, assessed US capabilities in the Indo-Pacific, adding that Beijing may invade Taiwan in the next six years. Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong speaks to Taiwan academics about the issue.
A researcher working on a semiconductor on an interface board, 29 February 2016. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Taiwan's booming semiconductor industry plays crucial role on world stage

Taiwan’s semiconductor industry has been making waves not just domestically, but internationally. Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong examines why for Taiwan, strategically and economically, possessing advanced semiconductor technology is as good as striking gold.
Lam Wing-kee in his bookstore that doubles up as his living space. A metal bunk bed can be seen behind him.

Hong Kongers moving to Taiwan: Temporary haven or permanent home?

Following the anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong in 2019 and the passing of the national security law last year, Hong Kongers are migrating abroad or thinking of migrating in record numbers. One major destination is Taiwan, with its banner of freedom and democracy. But for these migrants pushed out of their home city by circumstance, is Taiwan a temporary haven, or a permanent home? Zaobao correspondent Woon Wei Jong speaks to Hong Kongers in Taiwan.